Why We Celebrate July 4th

We celebrate July 4th with a lot of hoopla.  Flag-waving parades.  Backyard barbecues with beer and laughter.  Fireworks.  Good times. We celebrate the creation of a new country, a new ideal, in 1776.  It was a country that rejected hereditary aristocracies, that called for equal rights for (most) men, that endeavored to create a new…

Asymmetrical Warfare: Its Real Meaning

When U.S. military theorists talk about asymmetrical warfare, they nearly always mean that the enemy has a diabolical advantage against us (They use human shields!  They have no qualms about endangering women and children!).  Rarely do these theorists recognize our own asymmetries, the enormous advantages they convey, and the seemingly irresistible temptation to use those…

Fighting Forest Fires

Very sad news coming out of Arizona: the loss of nineteen firefighters as they fought valiantly against wildfires started by lightning.  My Dad fought forest fires in Oregon in the mid-1930s when he was in the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC.  He once worked nearly 24 hours straight on a fire line to contain a…